Foyster Jemima

The Call

[It is spring 1952, in a house in northern England. It is clearly a large house, but the scene is set in the living area] [JAMES, an 19-year-old unemployed man, is sitting at a desk, writing quickly, focused on his work. There is a phone in the corner, on another table, but JAMES does not look at it]


JAMES: (Muttering under his breath, barely audible, counting something as he writes) 5…..10…..48……..96


[The phone rings loudly, seemingly out of place; sounding like a fire alarm. JAMES leaps out of his seat, being shocked out of his focus]


JAMES: (Angrily) Not again. What now?


[JAMES walks over to the phone, sitting down next to it, visibly calms himself down, and snatches the receiver]


JAMES: Hello?


[Lights come up on a split scene on the other side of the stage, with CHRIS, a 25-year-old police officer in uniform, fidgeting with the phone wire as he steps from one foot to the other]


CHRIS: Oh James. It’s Chris. Thank god you answered. I thought you were going to let it ring.

JAMES: Oh, Chris. Are you calling me from the station?

CHRIS: (Sounding troubled) Yes. I want to come home early today, to see you.

JAMES: (Oblivious) Oh, how lovely. I know it’s hard for you to get out early. I appreciate the effort, Chris.


[There’s an awkward moment of silence, as CHRIS bites his lip nervously, tears brimming in his eyes]


JAMES: Chris, are you still there?

CHRIS: Yes. Sorry.

JAMES: Oh.  

[Another awkward silence]

JAMES: So, I’ll see you when you get home? 

[JAMES moves to hang up the phone]

CHRIS: (Suddenly) Wait!

JAMES: Is everything alright?

CHRIS: (Shakily, almost in tears) James…..they know.

JAMES: Who’s they? And what do they know?

CHRIS: They…(Sobs sharply and suddenly) They know about us.


[JAMES freezes, opening his mouth, but no sound comes out. He closes it again, looking like an incredibly realistic statue, frozen in an expression of shock]


CHRIS: I’m sorry. I tried to stall them.

JAMES: I…I...Wha-

CHRIS: I’ve been fired James. And my trial is next week.


[The shocked expression JAMES has slides off his face, and he takes a sweeter tone]


JAMES: Oh Chris, I know we’ll get through this. (sounding less sure) But what does this mean for us?

CHRIS: No time for that. You need to get out of our house before they get there.

JAMES: Before who gets here?

CHRIS: The detectives. They're coming for you.

JAMES: What about you?

CHRIS: Arrested. I’m using my phone call to tell you. Tell my mother to get a lawyer for me, would you?

JAMES: Arrested? Wait, this can’t be happening. Will they arrest me?

CHRIS: James, run. Please. For us.

JAMES: I’m not fast enough. They’ll catch me. Will they arrest me?

CHRIS: If they catch you, tell them I made you do this. I pressured you, say anything. Blame me.


CHRIS: Blame me.

JAMES: Chris…

CHRIS: Go. Now. I will find a way to get to you. I’ll get out and find you.


[There’s a click, as CHRIS puts down the phone. Lights plunge CHRIS into darkness. JAMES puts down the phone, and scrambles to his feet. He grabs a bag, and stuffs a disarray of his belongings into it, before stumbling to the door. He stops, and turns back to quietly survey the room]


JAMES: (softly) Goodbye Chris. Until we meet again.


[JAMES opens the door to leave the room, but backs away from the door, as at the same moment, 6 police officers burst through the door. JAMES is terrified, and cries out. He then drops his bag, to raise his hands on his head.]




Envoyé: 18:49 Sat, 23 March 2024 by : Foyster Jemima age : 16